Prayer

Second Monthly Fatima Prayer Indulgence

Tuesday, June 13th was the second monthly anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima indulgenced by Pope Francis. We prayed them after the 9:00 AM mass as a group, but our statue is exposed for veneration all day.

There is an interesting book on the challenges of crafting a statue according to the directions of Sister Lucia, the visionary who survived the longest, written by the priest-sculptor, Fr. Thomas McGlynn: Vision of Fatima  has been recently re-published. It gives good insight on the apparitions, Sister Lucia's personality and the variations in the public images of the apparitions.

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Praying the Rosary For America

Numerous intrepid prayers gathered despite the driving rain to pray the outdoor Rosary this past Saturday. 

They were able to seek some shelter from the rain under the school's porch and still remain visible to passers-by as a visible witness to the power of prayer, especially the Rosary.

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Pope Francis Grants Plenary Indulgence for Marian Fatima Devotions

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To obtain the plenary indulgence, the faithful must fulfill the ordinary conditions: (1) go to Confession and Communion,(2)  be interiorly detached from sin, and (3) pray for the intentions of the Holy Father, usually the Creed, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory Be. 

"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints (canon 992 and Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1471).”  A plenary indulgence is a complete remission of temporal punishment due to sins and is limited to one per day.

To the faithful who visit with devotion a statue of Our Lady of Fatima solemnly exposed for public veneration in any church, oratory or proper place during the days of the anniversary of the apparitions, the 13th of each month from May to October 2017, and there devoutly participate in some celebration or prayer in honor of the Virgin Mary.  In addition, the faithful must pray the Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

A statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be exposed at Holy Cross Church in our sanctuary for public veneration beginning tomorrow, May 13th.

 


Principal Search Committee Convenes

Yesterday we held the organizational meeting of Holy Cross School Principal Search Committee. The members of the Search Committee are: 

Beth Camillone PTA Representative, Outgoing PTA President, School parent
Bruce Eagelson   Parishioner representative, Member School and Parish Finance Councils, Member Faith in our Future Core Committee
Dr. Chris Huss School parent, member Holy Cross School Board, Principal Millstone Township Middle School
Teresa Makin School Parent Representative, Public Relations Coordinator
Mrs. Carol Bathmann Principal, St. Dominic's School, Brick, New Jersey

 

 

Door

 

 

 Fr. Manning and Dr. Margaret Boland of the Catholic Schools Office in Trenton are ex officio members of the committee. 

Chris Huss has agreed to serve as Committee Chair and Teresa Makin as Secretary.

Advertisement for the position will be placed in media outlets next week. Deadline for receipt of applications is March 15 and the first round of interviews will be March 21 and 23.

Our first meeting was cordial, optimistic and mission-oriented. Please continue to pray for the right individual to lead Holy Cross School as principal to come forward.

Fr Manning

 


Advent Resources for the Family

Each year the resources available on the USCCB website get better and better. 

Be sure to check out the daily Advent Calendar, reflections for each Sunday in Advent and a blessing for the Advent wreath in the home.

Advent Resources from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Advent Calendar
There is an Advent Calendar and a Daily Family Calendar among other resources.

The Root of Joy Is Gratefulness

Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk now associated with a group called Gratefulness.org, reminds us that 

    It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

We're guilty of thinking the other way around, especially when we expect gratitude to spontaneously well up from an unhappy heart. To be grateful we must be observant and focus more on what we already have than what we feel need.

May we experience the joy which comes from gratitude this Thanksgiving!

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Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI Memoir Published: Last Testament In His Own Words

81eQcFzry1LIf you are interested in a reading a thoughtful book for Advent, Benedict XVI's interview with Peter Seewald compiled as the book, "Last Testament in His Own Words" will reward you well.

A thoughtful, humble and reaslistic assessment by the former pope of his time of service to the Church before, during and after his papacy. It is sad to listen to him report his declining health and energy, but his insight and most especially his love of Jesus Christ remains undimmed.

 


Prayer After An Election From the USCCB

PRAYER AFTER AN ELECTION


God of all nations,

Father of the human family,

we give you thanks for the freedom we exercise

and the many blessings of democracy we enjoy

in these United States of America. 

We ask for your protection and guidance

for all who devote themselves to the common good,

working for justice and peace at home and around the world.We lift up all our duly elected leaders and public servants, 

those who will serve us as president, as legislators and judges,

those in the military and law enforcement.

Heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord,

with a common purpose, dedication, and commitment to achieve liberty and justice

in the years ahead for all people,

and especially those who are most vulnerable in our midst.

Amen.


Prayer of Bishop John Carroll for the United States of America

Excerpts from the prayer Bishop John Carroll, first American bishop, composed this prayer in 1791.

 

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Bishop Carroll's Seal


We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

...We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.


Praying As Family: Retreat for Parents, Grandparents: Monday December 5th in Holy Cross Auditorium, 7:00 PM

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A Short Guide to Praying as a Family,

written by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecelia

as an aid for families who desire to grow in their lives of prayer.


 

Two Dominican sisters of St. Cecelia Congregation will visit and speak with us about praying as a family. In simple and engaging language, they will direct families step-by-step in beginning to pray together and in deepening their prayer.

Families who have used this book say that they have found especially helpful the sections on how to begin family bedtime prayers, the monthly family meeting, and praying with one’s spouse. They have commented that this guide is simple, practical, and profound. “Helping children learn the habit of prayer,” writes Archbishop Charles Chaput in the Forward, “becomes one of the most important lessons a family can share.”

Everyone is invited, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Babysitting will be provided. Call to reserve a copy of the sisters' book


Join Us At Mass to Pray For The Deceased On All Souls Day November 2nd at 7 PM

Votives
"From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic Sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God...The church also commends almsgiving, indulgences and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead." Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1032.

 

 


The Dominicans Are Coming - Save the Date - December 5th, Monday

We're excited to report that two sisters from the Dominican Community in Nashville

will be visiting Holy Cross on December 5th.

Dominicans

It was an amazing coincidence to discover that the sisters would already be in our diocese that week and were able to extend their visit and add us to their itinerary.

The sisters will make a presentation to our Holy Cross students during the day. Monday evening they will discuss the topic of Family Prayer with school parents and parishioners alike based on their publication 

 Praying As A Family

We will be extending an invitation for parishioners in our cohort and surrounding parishes to join us for this prayerful recollection in Advent. 


The US Civil Rights Commission And Religious Liberty

The US Civil Rights Commission released a briefing report to the President entitled "Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties." It studied the conflict between the expanding Federal legislation and regulations on sexual identity and marriage vs. freedom of Religious organizations, institutions and individuals to practice their faith.

The Commission's recommendations are troubling, but telling

  1. Overly-broad religious exemptions unduly burden nondiscrimination laws and policies.
    Federal and state courts, lawmakers, and policy-makers at every level must tailor religious exceptions to civil liberties and civil rights protections as narrowly as applicable law requires.
  2.  RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) protects only religious practitioners’ First Amendment free exercise rights, and it does not limit others’ freedom from government-imposed religious limitations under the Establishment Clause.
  3. In the absence of controlling authority to the contrary such as a state-level, RFRA-type statute, the recognition of religious exemptions to nondiscrimination laws and policies should be made pursuant to the holdings of Employment Division v. Smith, which protect religious beliefs rather than conduct.
  4.  Federal legislation should be considered to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions and only to the extent that they do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights protections against status-based discrimination.
  5. States with RFRA-style laws should amend those statutes to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions.
  6. States with laws modeled after RFRA must guarantee that those statutes do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights with status-based discrimination.

The full report (over 300 pages) is linked here Peaceful Coexistence.

 

Comments from Chairperson of the US Civil Rights Commission,  Martin R. Castro, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011.

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian
religion.” —John Adams

 

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Chairman Martin R. Castro

The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia,
Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.

 Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others.

However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality. In our nation’s past religion has been used to justify slavery and later, Jim Crow laws. We now see “religious liberty” arguments sneaking their way back into our political and constitutional discourse (just like the concept of “state rights”) in an effort to undermine the rights of some Americans.

This generation of Americans must stand up and speak out to ensure that religion never again be twisted to deny others the full promise of America.

 


Faith and the Full Promise of America

 

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Archbishop William Lori


A Statement from Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB's Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty

 

For the current Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, religious liberty is reduced to "nothing except hypocrisy," and religion is being used as a "weapon… by those seeking to deny others equality." He makes the shocking suggestion that Catholic, evangelical, orthodox Jewish, Mormon, and Muslim communities are comparable to fringe segregationists from the civil rights era. These statements painting those who support religious freedom with the broad brush of bigotry are reckless and reveal a profound disregard for the religious foundations of his own work.

People of faith have often been the ones to carry the full promise of America to the most forgotten peripheries when other segments of society judged it too costly. Men and women of faith were many in number during the most powerful marches of the civil rights era. Can we imagine the civil rights movement without Rev. Martin Luther King, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel? In places like St. Louis, Catholic schools were integrated seven years before the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Jesus taught us to serve and not to count the cost.

Our record is not perfect. We could have always done more. Nevertheless, we have long taught that the one God, maker of heaven and earth, calls each and every individual into being, loves every individual, and commands believers to love and show mercy to every individual. The idea of equality, which the Chairman treats as a kind of talisman, is incomprehensible apart from the very faith that he seeks to cut off from mainstream society.

Today, Catholic priests, religious and laity can be found walking the neighborhood streets of our most struggling communities in places abandoned by a "throwaway culture" that has too often determined that quick profits matter more than communities. We are there offering education, health care, social services, and hope, working to serve as the "field hospital" Pope Francis has called us to be. We wish we were there in even greater numbers, but we are there to humbly offer the full promise of America to all. Rest assured, if people of faith continue to be marginalized, it is the poor and vulnerable, not the Chairman and his friends, who will suffer.

Catholic social service workers, volunteers and pastors don't count the cost in financial terms or even in personal safety. But, we must count the cost to our own faith and morality. We do not seek to impose our morality on anyone, but neither can we sacrifice it in our own lives and work. The vast majority of those who speak up for religious liberty are merely asking for the freedom to serve others as our faith asks of us. We ask that the work of our institutions be carried out by people who believe in our mission and respect a Christian witness. This is no different from a tobacco control organization not wishing to hire an advocate for smoking or a civil rights organization not wanting to hire someone with a history of racism or an animal rights group wishing to hire only vegetarians.

In a pluralistic society, there will be institutions with views at odds with popular opinion. The Chairman's statement suggests that the USCCR does not see the United States as a pluralistic society. We respect those who disagree with what we teach. Can they respect us? We advocate for the dignity of all persons, a dignity that includes a life free from violence and persecution and that includes fair access to good jobs and safe housing. People of faith are a source of American strength. An inclusive and religiously diverse society should make room for them.

 

 


Attack on Our Catholic Church in Normandy


A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops



Catholic faithful around the world experienced the shock and sadness of this morning's barbaric attack on Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in France, as if the loss was in our very own parish. We pray for Father Hamel and his parishioners knowing, as St. Paul stated regarding the Body of Christ, "if one suffers, all the parts suffer with it." (1 Cor 12:26)

The Holy Mass is the most sacred and joyful act we, as Catholics, celebrate. Never are we closer to our Lord Jesus Christ than we are when we receive the Eucharist. No act of desecration – no matter how vile – can obscure the merciful presence of God.

Jesus calls us to be sisters and brothers, to strive to care for one another, and always to reject the evil that seeks to divide us. We give thanks to God for the unforgettable witness of the faithful this morning at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.


Pray for Peace During Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Wednesday

St-Etienne
St. Stephen's Church


"Mindful of all that is going on in the world at the present time, let us pray for those who most need our prayers, for peace, for living together in harmony."

These are the words of Catholic priest Jacques Hamel, martyred today during mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray. Pere Hamel wrote them in the most recent parish bulletin. 

Living in the parish in semi-retirement, he was assisting the pastor. Ordained in 1958, the murdered priest was 86 years old. 

For the last 18 months he had served along with the other religious leaders on an interfaith committee, including Mohammed Karabila, imam of the local mosque.

Ironically, the mosque in Sainte-Etienne-du-Rouvray was erected in 2000 on a plot of land donated by the Catholic parish.

His former archbishop remembered Pere Hamel as a man "who radiated kindness."

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Father Jacques Hamel

Spend an hour tomorrow at Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to pray for "peace, for living together in harmony."

 


May Crowning of Mary

Holy Cross School children sang in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, recited a decade of the rosary and a litany of some of Mary's many titles and presented flowers brought from their home gardens.

Our first communicants dressed in their communion outfits and presented the flowers along with their 8th grade prayer partners.

It was the first time the statue of Mary on the church shrine was so honored.

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Stations of the Cross 7:00 PM Confessions 7:30 PM

Tonight's Stations of the Cross will be led by Holy Cross Men's Group and will use the "Stations of the Cross with the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus" as prayer. It's an interesting resource, more wordy than we are used to, but quite beautiful. If you remember the Stations authored by Pope Benedict, it is on par.

The reflections focus on the self-giving of Christ on the road to Calvary which leads directly to the Eucharistic sacrifice at Mass. "At each of the fourteen stations, readers are encouraged to offer themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by uniting their sufferings with his in the Eucharist."

Please join us beginning at 7:00 PM for Stations followed at 7:30 PM by confessions.

Stations